The Yukon Police Department will be purchasing seven new police Tahoes.
City Council members approved a loan from Yukon National Bank (YNB) to purchase seven outfitted 2016 police Tahoes. The loan has a two percent interest rate for a term of 36 months, as recommended by Police Chief John Corn.
This will be the first time since 2014 the department will purchase new vehicles. City Manager Jim Crosby said at the March 7 meeting that he thinks it’s a “good move” because YPD was supposed to purchase new vehicles last year but it wasn’t able to happen because of budget concerns.
YPD’s vehicle purchase history includes:
—Two vehicles purchased in 2005 with an average mileage of 70,995,
—13 vehicles purchased in 2008 with an average mileage of 94,293,
—12 vehicles purchased in 2010 with an average mileage of 53,497,
—Seven vehicles purchased in 2011 with an average mileage of 43,564,
—Seven vehicles purchased in 2012 with an average mileage of 39,001,
—Four vehicles purchased in 2013 with an average mileage of 31,291, and
—Two vehicles purchased in 2014 with an average mileage of 16,906.
“There were large vehicle purchases made in 2008 and 2010 totaling 25 units. The number of vehicles purchased over the next four years was greatly lower and did not meet the growth of the department and older vehicles were retained,” read a handout passed out at the March 7 work session before the City Council meeting.
The police department is currently utilizing 47 vehicles. Not all of the current vehicles are Chevrolet Tahoes.
The police department will also be purchasing 40 new Tasers with holsters for $32,000, 50 duty service pistols with holsters for $33,500 and 50 new patrol duty bags with patches for $2,500.
They will also be hiring two commissioned police officers, replacing the two previous lost due to budget cuts, Crosby said during the March 7 work session.
The officers will each make a salary of $75,718 per year.
The department currently has 43 commissioned police officers, but will maintain the minimum staffing of 45 commissioned police personnel for at least the three-year-duration of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 2017-2020.
The MOU began March 1 and ends Feb. 28, 2020.
The total amount of $936,000 over the next three years will come from the police department’s Public Employees Sales Tax (PEST) Revenue fund.
Crosby explained that the City of Yukon has always let police department, or whatever department it may in reference to, decide how the PEST money is spent, and he and the Council make sure they understand where the money will be going before approving it.
“One of the first things they wanted to do was look at some cars,” Crosby said to Council members on March 7. “There are seven cars available this year and they’re bought under the state contract. The Chevrolet Tahoe is the preferred car right now among a lot of police departments.
“They also want to buy a number of Tasers because the ones they have right now you can’t even replace them because the ones we have are very old and outdated.”
Crosby said when it comes to the pistols, he thinks it’s important there’s a uniform pistol issued to each officer.
“Right now there are a number of men that carry their own pistols with different ammunition, and there are a lot of other problems that go with it. We’d like to standardize that, which is a very good practice by most departments,” Crosby said.
The PEST account generates more than $1.3 million, Crosby said.
“They’re all in agreement of how the money should be spent and are coming to you for consideration,” he said to Council members during the work session.
The City of Yukon will also be hiring, at the city’s expense, a jailer/property clerk. The position must be filled through the entirety of the MOU.
Chief Corn is on vacation and was unavailable for comment Thursday. Major Gary Knight was also unavailable for comment Thursday as he was in a training session.
For more information contact the YPD at 354-1711, or Crosby at 350-3939.